May 1st 2011

Another week means another space launch, and in honor of May Day (think “mayday mayday code red”) Mission Control is bringing you the third installment of SPACE PROGRAM via the Red Planet. Using Edwin Starr’s song as a tagline and curated by yours truly in relation to the more explosive strain of Mars’s character, this program promises more atom bombs and self-destructing cinema then and warmongerer could hope for… If you haven’t yet made it to the recolonized space of Thalia Hall, your chance is nigh—last Sunday’s exploration of Venus proved without a doubt that this is the best place to observe the kino-cosmos, all wonder and disarray. There’s one more show after Mars, so please: join us!

Oh, rust-surfaced sphere, with your receding polar ice caps and optical illusion canals! If not for your half-mass, your eccentric orbit, and your global dust storms, we would call you sister or cousin; but it was your fiery red-lit temperament and your thin atmosphere that led the Romans to name you after their God of War, and we at SPACE PROGRAM shall do the same. We shall land our newest craft upon the peak of your Olympus Mons, and from that vantage point (highest in the solar system) we shall survey the entire galaxy stretched out before us. Unlike the 2/3rds of failed Mars voyages that left before us, we shall traverse your Valles Marineris with the understanding that the power of Mars as the power of War is a power best used to secure the peace. Our childhood wargames (Geissler/Sann), our damaged soldiers (Single Spark Film Collective), our flicker destruction (Sharits), our media paralysis (Smith), and our transcendent explosions (Conner) are herewith submitted as evidence. With a question on our lips we shall raise our flag upon your soil, its single dollar/Euro sign fluttering in the solar wind: Oh, Mars—if it costs $309,000 per kilogram to land upon your basalt surface, what (pray tell) is the average cost of peace?

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